With $294,000 of new funding from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District schools have partnered with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan to secure additional school-based mental health providers at districts including Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, Boyne City, Boyne Falls, and Ellsworth. Char-Em is also partnering with Alcona Health Center to expand mental health services in the Public Schools of Petoskey utilizing these funds.
The funding is part of the 31n School Mental Health and Support Services grant opportunity to increase school mental health and support services. Earlier this year, the health department expanded its school-based mental health services into Alanson, East Jordan, and Central Lake through similar funding through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Mental health services continue to be a priority in funding, especially within schools. According to Char-Em ISD Superintendent Jeff Crouse, “Our local school districts have identified mental health issues as a top priority to help our students be at their best in the classroom and in their lives outside of school.”
“Expanding these services into additional schools increases access to care for all families, regardless of circumstances,” said Natalie Kasiborski, Director of Community Health Services at the health department. “Placing qualified, masters-prepared mental health providers within the schools ensures that all children and adolescents have the opportunity to receive the care they need to be healthy, and ultimately, to be able to learn.”
The partnership pairs the educational resources and expertise of the ISD with the implementation expertise of the health department, which operates eight school-based wellness centers across Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties.
“We were thrilled to be awarded this mental health grant from MDE and even more thrilled to find an incredible partner like the local health department to deliver the services directly to children in need, right in our schools,” said Crouse. He noted that services are expected to be in place and available at the start of the new year.
For additional information about the Behavioral Health Expansion through the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, call Erin Luckhardt at (231) 347-5628 or visit nwhealth.org or the ISD’s Communications Coordinator Beth Anne Piehl at (231) 547-9947.